I noted in the Preface of this report that, immediately after the trial had ended, Rudolf claimed on the internet that Irving's refusal to allow Rudolf to act as an expert witness on Auschwitz caused him to lose the libel case against Penguin and Lipstadt. On the basis of a detailed consideration of Rudolf's affidavit, I believe that if Rudolf would have presented those very same arguments in court that can be found in this affidavit, the case would probably have lasted longer, but would have ended not differently from the way it did, with a verdict in favour of the defendants.
As I have argued in my introductory remarks, Rudolf's affidavit does not establish the "improbability or outright impossibility of the established historiography of Auschwitz." It does not even begin to deal with that historiography, created over 50 years by many scholars from different countries, different backgrounds and different persuasions. More to the point for the purposes of the trial, Rudolf's affidavit does not engage with the bulk of my own expert report. It does not address the systematic way in which I established the evidentiary foundations of our knowledge of Auschwitz, and it does challenge the historiographical principle that was central to my approach: the principle that knowledge of the past can be established on the basis of the convergence of different kinds of evidence.
In the foregoing pages I have shown that Rudolf's affidavit contains a number of unrelated attacks on some selected parts of the evidence that Auschwitz was an extermination camp equipped with homicidal gas chambers, and that it proposes, in various attempts marked by simple factual errors and omissions and by the fallacies of negative proof and possible proof, some mutually exclusive and contradictory alternative explanations for selected pieces of evidence which it does not support with any substantial documentary evidence, or even minimal eyewitness evidence. I have also shown that these nihilistic attacks and suggestions do not revise the history of Auschwitz because they do not create even the beginning of a plausible narrative that one can engage with. In addition, the Rudolf affidavit attempts to pass over inconvenient evidence. In short, the Rudolf affidavit may indeed be characterized as a collection of unsupported allegations, irrelevant speculations, and offensive provocations.
I have been advised by my Instructing Solicitors of my overriding duty to the Court which I understand is paramount in my role as an expert of the Court. I understand that I am to assist the Court in all matters within my expertise regardless of whom my instructions are from and who is paying my fee. I confirm that this report is impartial, objective and unbiased and has been produced independently of the exigencies of this litigation.
I believe that the facts I have stated in this report are true, and that the opinions I have expressed are correct.
Toronto, April 26, 2001. Robert Jan van Pelt, Ph.D.
Last modified:May 23, 2002